Taking Compliance to the Next Level : - Colour-coded Compliance Rating and Certificate of Compliance - Production of Director’s Handbook Ms Peggy Tan Head, Enforcement Policies and Strategy Enforcement Division Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
ACRA – Source of Essential Corporate andFinancial information To build Singapore into a trusted business centre A crucial source of essential corporate and financial information for use by the business community and other government agencies Such corporate and financial information has to be up-to- date and accurate to be useful, failing which our stakeholders’ would be adversely impacted by the unavailability of reliable information.
Role of Enforcement Division (ED) in ACRAStrategic Functions: Targeted and Risk based Approach :1. To undertake strategic studies and reviews -Improving the Compliance Rate for top 3 on enforcement and recommend the offences appropriate policies (Enforcement Policies & Strategy Unit) Strategy A – Clean up the Register2. To undertake focused and targeted Strategy B – Assisting financially stricken enforcement based on the strategic plans companies and directions based in the strategic plans and directions endorsed by ACRA (Strategic Enforcement Unit) Strategy C – Uplifting Awareness via Public Education3. To efficiently manage cases identified for prosecution, including warrant cases. Strategy D – Re-engineer change in behavior (Summons & Warrants Processing Unit)
COLOR CODED COMPLIANCE RATINGStrategy D: One of the initiatives - Implemented on 24 April 2010. ACRA’s online Business Directory Search enhanced to include colour-coded compliance rating for locally incorporated companies. Compliant companies rated with a green tick ( ) and eligible for Certificate of Compliance. Non-compliant ones rated with a red cross ( ). The Colour-Coded Compliance Rating was introduced to:o provide recognition to companies that are in compliance and to enable them to use their good track record for brand equity purposes – prompt disclosure and good compliance translate to good corporate governance.o serve as an incentive for those not in compliance to strive to do better and be on time in their next AGM and annual filing.o provide for better transparency to the relevant companies’ stakeholders such as shareholders, creditors, financial institutions by publicising the filing records of the company. This could also assist them in making better informed decisions when dealing with the company concerned.
Example 1: Companies which are compliantExample 2: Companies which breached Section 175only
Example 3: Companies which breached Section 175,197and 201Example 4: Companies which breached the next AGM DueDate
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE Implemented together with the Colour-coded Compliance Rating initiative on 24 April 2010. Companies that are in compliance are eligible for the certificate to give recognition of their efforts to comply with the statutory requirements on holding AGM, lay up-to-date financial statements and filing of Annual Returns within the prescribed period. A fee of $15 is payable for the Certificate from 1st February 2011.
Coming Soon … PRODUCTION OF HANDBOOK FOR DIRECTORS
About the Handbook Uplifting Awareness via Public Education Phase 1: Inclusion in “Regulatory & Business Guide for Start-Ups ” handbook topics on Regulatory Compliance Phase 2: Director’s Handbook- Part of the suite of initiatives aimed at promoting voluntary compliance and reducing high enforcement cost downstream Create compliance awareness targeted at those who may not be aware of their duties Focus on statutory requirements under the Companies’ Act to address ACRA’s common offences Used as Standard Material/Text for Proposed Director’s Training Programme Target Audience Newly appointed and lay directors Aspiring directors and people interested in understanding the role and responsibilities of directors People providing secretarial and advisory services to companies
Uniqueness of Handbook Contents in book written from an ACRA’s perspective based on past experience and dealing with directors in default Present statutory requirements in simple English and in layman’s term for easy understanding Providing guidance on filing requirements to improve compliance Showcase real-life case studies of common defaults to provide learning points Provides useful information on how to do things right to avoid unnecessary business cost Introducing additional relevant topics outside the boundaries of mere compliance with statutory requirements, e.g. corporate governance and corporate social responsibility in simplified form Common forms and templates for directors’ use
Director’s HandbookMore Information : Target date for Launch : 1 June 2011 Hard copy available at Bookstores, etc at $15 per copy Soft copy available online via ACRA’s website at www.acra.gov.sg
Conclusion ACRA strives to promote a pro-business, pro-enterprise environment through effective enforcement, the integration of e-services (efiling, online reference materials) and public education. Ensuring continuing compliance is vital to maintaining good corporate governance and investor confidence. For more information, please visit: http://www.acra.gov.sg